Scientists discover blood-sucking Vampire Bacteria

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blood-sucking Vampire Bacteria

A team of researchers from Washington State University has found a bacteria attracted to the liquid part of blood, or serum, which contains nutrients the bacteria can use as food. One of the chemicals the bacteria seemed particularly drawn to was serine, an amino acid found in human blood that is also a common ingredient in protein drinks.

The researchers have dubbed this phenomenon “bacterial vampirism.” The research finding, published in the journal eLife, provides new insights into how bloodstream infections occur and could potentially be treated. The study highlighted that these bacteria predominantly reside in the intestines. People suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) are at a higher risk of these infections entering the bloodstream. Published in the journal eLife, the research also suggested that the vampire-like qualities of these bacteria could potentially be harnessed to develop effective treatments for bloodstream infections, which could revolutionize the treatment of diseases like IBD in the future.

E. coli bacteria are commonly found in our intestines and most strains are harmless, playing a crucial role in maintaining a healthy intestinal tract. However, certain strains can cause severe diseases such as bloodstream infections, urinary tract infections, diarrhea, and respiratory infections. Pathogenic E. coli enter the body through contaminated food and water. Raw vegetables, undercooked meat, raw milk, cheese, and contaminated sprouts are typical carriers of harmful E. coli that can lead to infections.

Understanding the behaviors and impacts of these so-called vampire bacteria not only sheds light on the potential hazards lurking within our own bodies but also opens avenues for innovative treatments. Through such research, new medications could be developed to provide substantial improvements in the quality of life for individuals with susceptibility to these infections. This underscores the critical importance of continual scientific investigation and public awareness in combating health threats posed by microbial pathogens.